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First taste of Coles Nature’s Kitchen Range

I remember the days when finding vegan foods at cafes was almost as difficult as finding a decent date and the only way to have a veganised version of your old favourite foods is to make it yourself.  As much as I like cooking and experimenting in my kitchen, there are days when I don’t have the time to cook anything more than tofu and two veg for dinner.

I’m having more and more of those days now, being a new mum of a fussy 3 months old. Some days I don’t even get a chance to sleep, let alone cook.  Which is why I’m super excited when Coles announced the launch of its plant-based products range called Nature’s Kitchen. That’s right, Coles has come up with its range of plant-based products, 20 of them to be exact. Veggie patties, pasta, curry, sausages, you name it.

Being locally produced and Coles a native brand, the prices are quite competitive and sometimes more affordable than similar products which are mostly imported from the US. There are so many to choose from but here are the ones I especially loved:

  • Nature’s Kitchen Chicken Style Tenders
  • Nature’s Kitchen Smokey Grill Meat-Free Burgers
  • Nature’s Kitchen Original Meat-Free Sausage
  • Nature’s Kitchen Vegetable Tikka Masala (Pilau Rice)  and
  • Nature’s Kitchen Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese

The range is divided into two categories, one is ready-to-eat meals which you can just heat up in the microwaves and the second is premade munchies like sausages and veggie patties which you have to cook on the stove or in the oven.

Coles Natures Kitchen

I used these as my ‘emergency meals’ – for the odd times when I don’t have time to cook or ingredients to cook with. My husband and I had the Vegetable Tikka Masala and Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese one Sunday for lunch after we just got home from shopping for baby clothes (I was planning to cook until the baby started fussing and screaming for my attention).  There was no way I would be able to make anything decent before we both pass out from starvation. I popped these two in the microwave for a few minutes each and lunch was sorted.

Natures Kitchen spaghetti bolognese

At first glance, both of the ready-to-eat meals look a bit on the small side but once you’ve tucked in, they are actually quite substantial. Flavour-full and filling. I added some steamed vegetables (broccoli this time) as I often do to meals to boost their nutritional content and it was perfect! They tasted fresh, not too greasy and not too ‘healthy’, if you know what I mean. I actually like them both as they are quite delicious but given that I’m more of a ‘rice’ person, the Vegetable Tikka Masala (Pilau Rice) was my favourite of the two. My husband likes the pasta more so he’s happy to have the Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese all to himself.

Natures Kitchen Vegetable Tikka Masala

A few days later I found myself in a similar situation – it was 7pm and I haven’t had a chance to cook. The little one was screaming her head off while dear husband was trying to settle her. And so, I popped the Chicken Tenders in my air fryer and the Smokey Grill Meat-Free Burgers on the pan and made a decent dinner for two out of them.

Coles Natures Kitchen Meat-free Tenders

Meat-free Tenders served with vegan aioli

The tenders remind me of chicken nuggets! It has great texture and slight chewiness and a crunchy ‘skin’.

Coles Natures Kitchen Meat-free Tenders

Coles Natures Kitchen - Smokey Grill Meat-Free Burgers

The Smokey Grill Meat-Free Burgers is really good! I think this is my new favourite vegan burger patties, second to my home-made vegan burger. It has great BBQ flavour, seriously smokey, slightly sweet, chewy, and it doesn’t fall apart on the stove like I’ve found with most veggie patties.

Coles Natures Kitchen - Smokey Grill Meat-Free Burgers

And just a few of days ago, I made a big breakfast of scrambled tofu and sausages with the Original Meat-Free Sausages.

Coles Natures Kitchen - Original Meat-Free Sausages

How good do they look?! Very realistic looking sausages, has a good bite to it, mildly spiced and yum! I wouldn’t be surprised if people can’t pick up the fact that it’s vegan. I think this is going to be a game changer for a lot of people and one of Nature’s Kitchen popular products.

Coles Natures Kitchen - Original Meat-Free Sausages

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the Nature’s Kitchen products I’ve tasted so far and looking forward to trying the rest of their range. Well done Coles for making these delicious product range and making plant-based food more accessible to everyone. Times is definitely changing and there’s never a better time to eat vegan than now!

If you haven’t had a chance to try Coles Nature’s Kitchen range of products, check them out at your nearest store now and let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: This post is made in collaboration with Coles. All views and opinions shared are (and will always be) my own.

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Funky Fields Plantbased Mince Review + Burger recipe

Funky Fields Minced Burger With Stuffed Cheese - Passionately Keren

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a huge increase in the popularity of veganism and plantbased foods. As a vegan, this is a super exciting time for me as new products continue to emerge, filling the gaps in the vegan market, making veganism more accessible, more interesting and more delicious. And today, I want to introduce you to one of the most innovative plantbased products in the market to date – Funky Fields’ “Minced” 100% plantbased mince that looks and tastes like, you guessed it, mince meat.

Funky Fields Plantbased Mince - Passionately Keren

The folks at Funky Fields did an absolutely brilliant job in presenting Minced. I’m super impressed by how ‘real’ it looks: from the packaging (not pictured here, but looks like the normal mince pack with plastic windows) to the squiggly strands and the iron red colour.

Funky Fields Minced - Passionately Keren

What’s is Funky Fields Minced made of?

This is the first question I asked myself. What is it actually made of? Here’s what it says on the package as well as on their website.

Ingredients:

I’m actually quite pleased with the ingredients list, it’s quite a short as far as processed foods go and has no numbers or ingredients that I can’t pronounce:

Rehydrated soy protein/isolate (58 %), water, coconut oil, soy flour, wheat gluten, almond, porcini mushrooms, tomato, fermented dextrose, tapioca starch, salt, malt extract (barley), colour (beetroot), natural aroma, maltodextrin, stabiliser (methylcellulose).

How does it tastes?

The second (and most important) question was, how does it measure up against real beef mince? Though I haven’t had the real thing for over 5 years, it used to be one of my favourites so I’m quite confident I’d be able to make a pretty accurate comparison between the two. But as a safety measure, I’m including my husband Nat in this test – he eats vegan at home but still eats meat from time to time, mostly when he eats with his parents.

Funky Fields Minced Burger With Stuffed Cheese - Passionately Keren

It tastes surprisingly very close to real mince. If I’m going to quantify it, I’d say it’s 85% similiar to normal beef mince. It can never completely be a hundred percent because it’s not actually beef, but it’s damn close! I love the texture, how it browns when cooked, how it sizzles and gives off that smoky aroma when it hits the hot oil on the frying pan. I tasted it when cooked, though I think next time I will brave myself to taste it uncooked, just to see what it tastes like without the effects of cooking. I think might struggle though, because it just looks so real!

Funky Fields Minced Burger With Stuffed Cheese - Passionately Keren

Funky Fields Vegan Burger (with stuffed cheese)

This will be the best vegan burger you've ever made. Delicious and juicy vegan burger patties made with Funky Fields Minced, stuffed with vegan cheese for next level vegan burger experience.

Course Dinner, Main, Main Course
Cuisine Vegan
Keyword burger, vegan burger
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 Burgers

Ingredients

Vegan patties

  • 200 g Funky Fields Minced half a packet
  • 1 brown onion finely diced
  • Dairy-free cheese slices
  • 1 drop of liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

To make the burger

  • 4 burger buns
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 continental cucumbers sliced
  • 1 Baby cos lettuce leaves torn and rinsed
  • 2 tomatoes thinly sliced
  • Vegan mayo
  • BBQ or Tomato Sauce

Instructions

To make the patties

  1. Heat the oil on a frying pan, fry the diced onion until translucent.

  2. Place 200g of the mince into a bowl. Add in cooked onion, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined (I used my hands).
  3. Divide the mince into 8 equal portions, roll each into balls and then flatten into discs - around 1 cm thickness.

  4. Place 1 stack of vegan cheese in the centre of one of the patties. Put the second patty on top and pinch the edges to form a seal. Repeat with the remaining patties.

  5. Place the patty on a cold frying pan greased with a bit of vegan spread (I use Funky Fields spreadable) and cook one side for a few minutes on medium high temperature until brown, flip using a spatula, and cook the other side.

Assemble your burger.

  1. Layer your bun bottom with vegan mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and cucumber, burger patty, sliced red onion and BBQ/tomato sauce. Cover with a bun top. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

If you like crusty burger buns (I do). You can heat the buns on the pan as you cook the patties for a few minutes until light brown. The buns will soak up any left over drippings making them taste even better.

The patties held together nicely, much better than other vegan burger patties I’ve made previously. However, you still need to cook it gently, and not flip it too much, so you won’t risk it disintegrating. Trust me, your patience will be rewarded with the juiciest, most delicious vegan burger you’ve made!

So, what do you think? Would you try Funky Fields Minced?

Funky Fields Minced is currently available in Woolworths.

P.S. If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram or Facebook. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

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